Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Checklist for Planning Each New School Year

I'm beginning to think about the end of the school year, and look forward to the next year. This is actually a dangerous time for me. In our family, we do school all year, so I'm not ready to stop doing what we've been doing all year. BUT, that's old & sometimes even boring, and what we are GOING to be doing sounds exciting and interesting!
Thankfully experience tells me that I do this every year and it is a chance to learn perserverance!

I know that this is the time that a lot of families are finishing up, though, so I wanted to put up my end of the year checklist. I wrote this a couple of years ago so that I would stop reinventing it every year. It takes me a while to catch on!

Procedure for Planning Each School Year:
Out with the old:
1. Gather all of the year's school work. Put in piles by child, in date order. Double check attendance records. (In Virginia, I'm not required to keep an attendance record, I do this for my own benefit. We, as a family do believe that everyday is a school day, but this is a record of my faithfulness to do "seat work".)
2. Choose a representative group of each subject and box up schoolwork. Throw out the remaining papers. (This year, I have done this throughout the year, so it should be easier.)
3. Put lesson plans and books read record in an envelope and put with schoolwork.
4. Evaluate the year - Goals achieved? What worked? What didn't?

In with the new:
1. Make a list of each subject for each child.
2. List materials/ texts for each child. Make a note of needed items.
3. Order curriculum needed, visit homeschool store, homeschool convention.
4. Decide how each subject will be organized. Does it (the text) need to be finished by years end? Can it be done "the next thing" (subjects that you just do until done and then start the next book (such as math).
5. Make up a lesson journal/attendance record. Will some child have his own?
6. Assign folders, spiral notebook or composition ledger to each subject per child. Each year I might do this differently. This year, we only used a 3 ring binder and a spelling folder. My kids are color coded, Green for Gael, Blue for Steven, Red for Isaac, Yellow for Shayna.
7. Look over the first week or two of each subject and plan/gather materials.
8. Order library books for first two weeks. (We are slowly trying to move away from being dependent on the public library system.)
9. Sign up for extra-curriculars - sports, art, music, languages.

A great place for homeschool forms is Donna Young . I have a wonderful "Child's Spiritual Evaluation" form but it is several pages of a Word document. I guess I could put it up as a post in itself... Hmmm. I think I will do that in the future. If you would like a copy, meanwhile, though, email me with your email address and I will send you the file.

Have a great day!

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